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Our Speakers

Dr. William W., Li, MD

Dr. William W. Li, MD

William W. Li, MD, is a world-renowned physician, scientist, speaker, and author of New York Times bestseller EAT TO BEAT DISEASE – The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself. He is best known for leading the Angiogenesis Foundation. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases, including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. His TED Talk, "Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?" has garnered more than 11 million views, and he has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Voice of America; and in The Atlantic, TIME, and The New York Times. An author of over 100 scientific publications in leading journals such as Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet, Dr. Li has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School, Tufts University, and Dartmouth Medical School. 
Cathy Burns

Cathy Burns

Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), joined PMA in 2013 following 25 years of experience in the grocery industry, where she most recently served as president of Food Lion, Harveys and Reid's, and was a member of the Delhaize America Executive Committee. She is responsible for a number of strategic PMA initiatives, including increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables; development of PMA Board of Directors and staff; and applying her expertise and exceptional insights to help PMA members more effectively engage and communicate with consumers. Burns was named a 2007 Top Woman in Grocery by Progressive Grocer; was awarded The Packer's 2008 Produce Marketer of the Year award; named one of Supermarket News' Power 50 in 2009; was named one of Mass Market Retailer's Most Influential Women in Mass Market Retailing in 2010; was recognised as one of the top 25 leaders in the produce and floral industries by The Packer in 2018.
Professor Ferdi Meyer

Prof. Ferdi Meyer

Ferdi Meyer completed a Ph.D degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria in 2006 following a study abroad programme at the University of Missouri, United States. Over his 20-year career at the University of Pretoria, he excelled from a junior lecturer to associate professor. He was one of the founding members of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in 2004. Through his leadership, BFAP has grown from an informal network of partners in academia, public and private sector to a non-profit company that is internationally recognised as an independent think tank on the African continent, serving the agro-food, fibre and beverage sectors. As Managing Director of BFAP, he has been leading the team on a vast range of national and international strategic projects and initiatives.  He specialises in agricultural market, trade-and policy analyses, value chain analytics, strategic foresighting and scenario planning. 
Professor Philippe Burger

Prof. Philippe Burger

Philippe Burger is Pro Vice-Chancellor: Poverty, Inequality and Economic Development of the University of the Free State, and Professor of Economics and Vice-Dean (Strategic Projects) of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Free State. He is a 2016/17 Fulbright Exchange Scholar at the Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, at Columbia University. During his time at Columbia, he wrote a book on South Africa's low growth and high unemployment entitled "Getting it right: a new economy for South Africa" (published in 2018). From September 2012 to October 2014 he was President of the Economic Society of South Africa (ESSA). He was also a member of the South African Statistics Council, which oversees the work of Statistics South Africa. His publications include three books and numerous academic articles on fiscal rules and fiscal sustainability, public-private partnerships, and macro-economic and economic development policy. Together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff, he co-authored two IMF working papers. He has also been a visiting scholar at the IMF (in 2009) and consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2007, 2010, 2012).  
Dr. Sifiso Ntombela

Dr. Sifiso Ntombela

Sifiso Ntombela holds a Ph.D in Agricultural Economics from the University of Pretoria. Ntombela currently works for the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) as a chief economist, responsible for research and providing evidence-based policy advisory to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. He is a columnist for the leading financial and business digital media (Fin24) and food magazine, the Farmers’ Weekly. Ntombela is a regular commentator on economic and developmental matters on a national radio and news channels. He is currently leading the research and the formulation of the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan, a sector’s blueprint strategy for achieving an inclusive, competitive and sustainable agricultural value chains.
Denene Erasmus

Denene Erasmus

Denene Erasmus is the editor of Farmer's Weekly South Africa, the largest English-language agricultural publication in Southern Africa. She has been an agricultural journalist since 2009 and has won numerous international and national awards for her reporting on farming, conservation and the agribusiness sector in Africa; including International Federation of Agricultural Journalists and Alltech International Award for Leadership in Agricultural Journalism in 2019, and the Agricultural Writers South Africa/Agri Securitas Agricultural Journalist of the Year award in 2012 and 2014.  Erasmus is a member of the alumni network of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa. She holds a master's degree in languages from Stellenbosch University, an honours degree in Media Theory and Practice from the University of Cape Town. She is currently studying towards a degree in economics.   Her writing covers a broad range of topics related to agriculture, agribusiness, African development, rural development, climate change and conservation.
Peter Van Kets

Peter van Kets

Peter van Kets is a professional extreme adventurer, highly sought-after international business inspirational keynote speaker, bestselling author and father. He has become globally known as a specialist around inspiring businesses to achieve and sustain true success through perseverance, grit, passion, and purpose despite the dynamic and turbulent economy.   He has worked with major corporations across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. He takes the lessons learned from his expeditions and relates them to the business environment. His expedition stories are of survival, courage, perseverance, passion, loneliness, tenacity, amazing teamwork and the will to win. Van Kets’ presentations take people on powerful life-altering journeys, changing the way they think about themselves and their businesses.
Sarina De Beer

Sarina de Beer

Sarina de Beer has two master's degrees, in Psychology and Research Psychology, respectively. She started her career as a lecturer at the University of Pretoria, where a driving ambition was born to become a respected researcher. This drive flourished at Ask Afrika, where she managed to create a synergy between business consulting and research. De Beer has successfully blurred the lines between research and the consultation of business-driven clients to ensure that they derive commercial value from research. Her focus is on navigating client pain points, understanding how this affects them and directing her clients with understanding and context.  Her business exposure lies across a range of industries, and she has a passion for identifying social trends that impact brand expectations in the financial-services sector and the media industry.
Shereen Tromp

Shereen Tromp

Shereen Tromp is a senior consultant at Euromonitor International. She manages projects and provides expertise on Food & Nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa in the form of content, client engagement, as well as research. Tromp oversees a team of analysts in various sub-Saharan African countries and produces data and insights on Food & Nutrition markets in the region. Tromp is the Central Project Team lead for Fresh Food & Staple Foods globally, overseeing the projects roll out and post checks and providing support to analysts globally during the research process and beyond. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management-Marketing, obtained through the University of Cape Town. She has fourteen years of working experience in researching sub-Saharan African fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and services markets. Her interest lies in expanding our knowledge and expertise on Packaged and Fresh Food globally, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. 
Retha Harmse

Retha Harmse

Retha Harmse is a driven and passionate dietician with a desire to improve health and wellness. As a dietician, she aims to see wellness not only as a healthy weight or a disease-free life but rather as a life in abundance in all aspects of a person's being. She serves on the Association for Dietetics in South Africa's (ADSA's) executive committee as the public relations portfolio holder, as well as an ADSA spokesperson. She has a special interest in mindful and intuitive eating, weight management, diabetes and many more. Retha also runs a psychiatry group session daily at The Day Clinic (an in-patient psychiatric day program) focused on the brain-gut axis and putting the joy back in eating. Harmse runs a plant-based cafe and is author of two e-recipe books that was launched in 2018 and during the second during the 2020 lockdown, respectively. 
Trevor Duke

Trevor Dukes

Trevor Dukes’ career path to date has led to 27 years of experience in the agriculture sector, both as an entrepreneur and within corporate multinationals. He has gained in-depth knowledge of the industry throughout the supply chain.  In 1999, he joined the Katopé group, a multinational group based in France. He moved to the Cape headquarters in 2007 just prior to the acquisition of the Katopé group by Univeg – an EU based multinational. In 2008, Dukes was appointed COO of the Univeg South Africa group and in 2012, he was appointed in his current role as CEO.  The group underwent a name change to The Fruit Farm Group South Africa (TFFGSA) in 2015.   Dukes has served on numerous boards within the industry, including as South African Country Council member of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), as PMA South Africa vice-chairperson since 2017, and he was elected as chairperson in 2019.
 Jaco Oosthuizen

Jaco Oosthuizen

Jaco Oosthuizen is the CEO of the RSA Group, the biggest fresh produce sales agency in Africa. Oosthuizen is vice chairperson of PMA Southern Africa and is council member of the Agricultural Produce Agents Council (APAC). He is a past President of the Institute of Market Agents of South Africa (IMASA) and serves on various other boards.
David Farrell

David Farrell

David Farrell is a founding partner and the CEO of Blue North Sustainability, a specialist sustainability consulting practice based in Stellenbosch. He has worked in the agricultural sector in South Africa for more than twenty years with the last thirteen years focussed on the subject of sustainability in farming systems and agri-supply-chains.  During his career, Farrell has led the development and implementation of the first large-scale ethical compliance programme on farms in South Africa and conducted the first full life-cycle assessment of carbon emissions across international fruit export supply-chains. Farrell’s work in the industry involves extensive exposure to, and engagement with, the leading growers, exporters, imports and retailers that make up South Africa’s agricultural export industry.  Farrell has a B.Sc. Agriculture (Horticultural Science) and a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), and is a Senior Associate and member of faculty of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
Philippe Burger

Philippe Beaujean

Philippe Beaujean started his career in the port of Antwerp as a stevedore at the Hessenatie Steel Terminal and managed their operation at the General Motors plant in Antwerp. He later switched to ERP and CRM consultancy where he had various international assignments in the manufacturing, banking, insurance and pharmaceutical industry. In 2002, he joined Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse, Belgium, where he worked as Account Manager in the CRM Centre of Excellence. In 2008, Beaujean returned to the port industry. He started as commercial manager at PSA and switched to DP World Antwerp in 2009 where he acted in various business development roles. In April 2018, he started a new challenge as Shippers & Forwarders Manager at the Port of Antwerp.
Ingrid Vanstreels

Ingrid Vanstreels

Ingrid Vanstreels has built up operational and commercial experience within the logistic sector for 15 years. She started working as a forwarder on import and export operations, dealing with complex files handling goods movements to and from all regions in the world. As business changed rapidly the last decennia and customer needs where increasing due to high competition and growing transparency within the supply chain, there was a need to set up new tools and services. Vanstreels assisted with creating a business implementation and customer service team into the current forwarding organisation. With a strong focus on developing new procedures and tools together with customers and stakeholders. She joined Port of Antwerp two years ago and works as a key account manager for shippers and forwarders. She is responsible for the segments cold chain, containerised transport, retail and logistics.      
Hermann Haupt

Hermann Haupt

Hermann Haupt joined CHEP in 1996 in the role of Regional Business Manager - Northern Region.  He quickly moved through the business in a number of different roles within the FMCG, Agriculture and RPC market sectors, as well as Logistics and Supply Chain for the Middle East, India and Africa region. In 2014 Haupt was appointed Country General Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa and early in 2019 took on the role as Vice-President, Sub Sahara Africa.  Haupt enjoys travelling, red wine and a good round of golf.  He holds BEng Civil and BEng Structures (Honours) degrees from the University of Pretoria, as well as a MCom Business Management degree from the University of Johannesburg.
Gerhard Stander

Gerhard Stander

Gerhard Stander joined the CHEP business in 1992 in the position of Business Manager for the Free State. He moved through the ranks holding various leadership roles, until his appointment in 2014 as Director, Agriculture for CHEP South Africa.  In February of this year Gerhard added the Retail market sector to his portfolio and was duly appointed Director, Retail & Agriculture, CHEP SSA. This new joint role allows Stander to oversee the supply chain, from grower to retailer, allowing CHEP to offer its customers a holistic service. This further allows Gerhard to build strong relationships with between vendors and retailers. Stander holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of the Free State, and completed a Management Development Programme at the University of South Africa. Gerhard has been a PMA Country Council member since 2016.